Deceiving isn’t it? We look well grown but we are actually behind by 30kg on average compared to our target weights based on our age and breed. We were initially weighed prior to Christmas and it was identified that we were behind target. Our dry matter intake was increased with the addition of 2.5kg PKE per day. Unfortunately even though we are growing at our fastest rate possible we are going to struggle to achieve our target weight recommended for calving (90% of mature live weight). We need to gain a minimum of 0.8kg per day to achieve our calving weight.
This is a timely reminder to check where your heifers are at. They can look really good but be behind in their weight and frame size. Consider amending feed offered or adding in supplement now so they don’t fall behind over the dry period or during the winter months. Heifers on target have much lower empty rates in their first season, better lifetime milk production and longevity in the herd.
How can you tell heifers are on target?
Regular weighing is the only way to really know. Weighing from a young age can be very beneficial and enable early intervention. Take this farm for example, heifer calves were identified behind target in November. Meal was introduced and some were put back on milk and now you can see on the graph (image 2) that the mob are tracking much more on target.
If you are interested in finding out how your youngstock are doing or if you would like to know more about the Anexa weighing service contact your local Anexa clinic.